• Immortal Trust

    The Curse of the Templars III

    When archaeologist Chloe Broussard accepts the contract to lead a dig in Ornes, France, she has no idea she will uncover Veronica's Veil. When she...

  • Immortal Protector

    The Curse of the Templars IIa

    After the brutal murder of his seraph, Iain Donnelly's salvation is eternally lost. Damned to become a dark knight of Azazel, he can no longer embrace...

  • Immortal Surrender

    The Curse of the Templars II

    Farran de Clare, loyal member of the cursed Knights Templar, wants nothing to do with predestined mates. Even the Almighty...

  • Marked for Death

    Inherited Damnation Book VIII

    Taran McLaine knows the agony of his incubus father's curse more intimately than his siblings. A century ago he murdered the only woman...

  • Enslaved by Fear

    Inherited Damnation Book VII

    For standing against her brother, Brigid McLaine is imprisoned within her home. All she wants is freedom and the ability to follow her dark...

  • Doomed to Torment

    Inherited Damnation Book VI

    Isolde McLaine left Hatherly Hall and its darkly handsome owner Angus Shaw to escape her incubus father's curse. But when word reaches her...

  • Bound by Decency

    The Flying Gang Legacy I

    Once, Cain sailed with the cutthroats of The Flying Gang, fearless Captain of The Kraken, bound to no one save the sea. After inheriting...

  • Lie to Me

    A man of action...

    After helping to break up a Russian human trafficking ring as part of the CIA’s elite Black Opal team, Alexei Nikanova’s newest assignment is to rescue...

  • The Heart’s Stronghold

    What she’s hiding is unforgivable…

    With six million stolen dollars tucked away in a Swiss account and a new identity, Natalie St. James arrives in County Kerry, Ireland toting a horde of secrets...

  • Fated for Sacrifice

    Inherited Damnation Book V

    When Reese Hamilton is abandoned in the snow-laden woods, she must find her way to Dáire McLaine’s cabin—a friend she’s...

  • Ensnared by Blood

    Inherited Damnation, Book IV

    Beth Whitley has finally put her life back together after her husband’s betrayal and is determined...

  • Stripped

    Body of secrets...

    As a member of the CIA’s elite, Black Opals, Natalya Trubachev must live a lie, working undercover as the lover of Dmitri, a Russian mob boss...

  • Immortal Hope

    The Curse of the Templars I

    Centuries ago, Templar knights defied the archangels and unearthed the copper scroll, revealing the gates to hell. Cursed for their forbidden act...

  • Destined to Die

    Inherited Damnation, Book III

    Haunted by his mother’s betrayal, Belen McLaine surrendered to his demonic half long ago. For centuries, he’s roamed, doing all he can to corrupt...

  • Tormented by Darkness

    Inherited Damnation, Book II

    Cursed by her incubus father centuries ago, the last thing Rhiannon McLaine wants to do is fall in love...

  • Cursed to Kill

    Inherited Damnation, Book I

    One of eight children born to an ancient Celtic priestess and sired by a demonic incubus, Cian McLaine suffers from a centuries old curse...

  • Misunderstanding Mason

    The truest gifts are damaged...

    Fourteen months ago, Aimee Garland had the perfect marriage—until her husband blindsided her with a divorce. Now, he’s home and she intends...

  • Misunderstanding Mason

    Sometimes the most vivid pictures go unseen...

    When Kirstin Jones agreed to work with her live-in boyfriend, Mason, on a free-lance job for a wealthy client, she...

  • Waiting for Yes

    One man holds the ability to fulfill her dreams...

    Gabrielle Warrenton gave up everything to pursue her dream of a first-class Egyptian Arabian...

  • A Christmas to Believe In

    When a man's dreams are in ruin...

    Struggling Thoroughbred breeder, Clint King, hasn’t been home for Christmas in...

  • Timeless Valentine

    Childhood hatred fired their blood...

    When Lucas Benning relocated to Kansas City, his best friend’s sister became his roommate. Problem is...

  • All I Want

    Some dreams were never meant to be...

    Renowned architect, Josh McDaniels, spent ten years avoiding his hometown and the unforgettable...

  • Seduction’s Stakes

    Never make a wager you can’t afford to lose...

    A member of horse racing’s elite, Maddie McCleery’s got her eye on the Triple Crown and her heart set...

Good morning, everyone! I'm super excited to introduce a fellow author and friend, M.C. Norris. He's here talking about his upcoming release (available September 1 through Severed Press), which I highly recommend you check out. Jump on the series now--this is the first in four that Severed Press is putting out! So with further ado, let's get right to it!

Deep Devotion by MC NorrisDeep Devotion
M.C. Norris
Speculative Fiction


Rising from the depths, a mind-bending monster unleashes a wave of terror across the American heartland. Kate Browning, a Kansas City EMT confronts her paralyzing fear of water when she traces the source of a deadly parasitic affliction to the Gulf of Mexico. Cooperating with a marine biologist, she travels to Florida in an effort to save the life of one very special patient, but the source of the epidemic happens to be the nest of a terrifying monster, one that last rose from the depths to annihilate the lost continent of Atlantis. Leviathan, destroyer, devoted lifemate and parent, the abomination is not going to take the extermination of its brood well.

M.C. is pretty busy gearing up for this debut release. But he sent us a special guest. A sea monster. And if I make it through the interview alive I'm betting this will be pretty remarkable. Let's see how it goes...

Guest Interview

Claire: So, Deep Devotion is making some big waves on Amazon right now. Last check, thirty-seven rave reviews and 4.6 out of 5 stars for a debut novel in the first two weeks. M.C. Norris must be doing something right, and we’re going to get to the bottom of that, but first, I think the question that’s on everybody’s mind right now is why you? Why did author M.C. Norris send in his sea monster for this interview, with all the available human characters in his book?

 Sea Monster: I’m the perfect choice to illustrate a key point. Deep Devotion is different. It’s anything but formulaic. Norris outsmarts the genre at every turn.  

Claire: What makes this book stand apart, defying the trappings of its own genre?  

Sea Monster: Let me get inside your head a little bit—  

Claire: Uh…personal space. Really. Tentacles or whatever you call them to yourself.  

Sea Monster: Kind of an inside joke, there. If you’re expecting a bunch of military stuff, you’ll find none of that in Deep Devotion. Not a single military strike. Not one bullet fired. I’m going to scare the hell out of you, don’t get me wrong, but I’ll reel you in from a deeper level. My perspective is frightening, totally alien, but it’s not alienating. You’ll sympathize with me, and maybe I’ll make you wish you hadn’t.  

Claire: Tell me a little bit about the human characters in this book.  

Sea Monster: Deep Devotion is driven by some wonderfully flawed characters. There’s Kate, for starters. Hot mess. Kansas City EMT with a boatload of intimacy issues and debilitating phobias, all stemming from some childhood trauma. Had a little brother who drowned in a Kansas cow pond while she was supposed to be watching him. Kate blames me for that.  

Claire: Kate’s from Kansas. It says here that you live on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. How can she blame you for her brother’s death? Did you really do it?  

Sea Monster: Won’t say if I did, and I won’t say if I didn’t, but I will say that I’ve got one hell of a long reach. I’m an unlikely suspect in that drowning, but you can’t rule me out. I’m crafty. I snatch thousands of human lives right out of the heartland.  

Claire: (Squirms a little) Are you—eating them?

 Sea Monster: Come on. I’m a filter feeder. Pretty peaceful, really, unless you rub me the wrong way, and then I’ll show you my ugly face. Might decide to ruin your life, your marriage, take your loved ones away, drag them screaming right out of their world, and down into mine.  

Claire: Okay, that’s a little dark. But how does a person clear out in the middle of the continental U.S. go about rubbing you in the wrong way?  

Sea Monster: Mess with my family. And chances are, you already have. Like that person there, three miles to the left. Excuse me…gotta run.  

Claire: Well, good thing he was called away. He? Hm. It? Anyway… I’m kinda glad he jetted off when he did. From the reviews, I’m pretty confident I have indeed messed with his family. I’ll just scoot on out of here as well. Before it comes back. But you can stay and read an excerpt while I run.

“Children don’t drown where water should not exist, not in the wishing pools remembered in the hearts of deserts. No, it could not be. What happened to Jeffrey was no accident. His was a willful killing, and a cruel one. There stood a mimic in the moonlight, connected by deeper roots to something else, something down in a pond beneath a pond, a grotto, where it fanned its saffron gills and waited, just as it had haunted the seas of time’s beginning. It waited for a chance to lure young life to an early death. Because that’s what it was all about. That’s all that it did.”

If the dull knocking of an oil pumper was the heartbeat of the plains, then the southwesterly winds were the region’s breath, unbroken by anything but barbed wire. The winds hissed daily through the barrens, until sundown quelled the breeze to a profound silence so stifling that it made the ears ring. At that hour, formless things, blanched as the dust and dry grass that wrought them, emerged from seams in the wastelands to ply soundlessly through the bluestem while the heartbeat of the plains kept on knocking. From atop some Osage post, a meadowlark bid the sun farewell with its piercing apogee, and another day was done.

At the heart of this vast desert, situated in a common cow pasture, was a something of a dimple in the parched earth, an old landmark. Arrowheads were common, here. The Naturals learned of this place by following the dauber swallows from their colonies of mud nests, and soon enough, it became a place of slaughter. Here was a scar, where the earth itself had been scalped to the bone, so bare and so cracked that no plant grew. Most years, it remained as such. But on good years, against all odds, this slight depression in the plains became a pond.

Summer days, its surface mirrored the sparkling blue skies. Buzzing things and crackling hoppers patrolled its muddy banks, all fringed with smartweed, green tangles and pink starbursts that writhed through the pocks left by wallowing cattle. It shimmered when the breeze tousled its glassy surface. Rings expanded, as tadpoles rose to kiss the sky, and descended, waggling, back down into their cool abysms. Whirligig beetles gyrated in their endless promenades. By day, the cow pond was a peaceful place, a crucible of life and flashing minnows that came from God knew where. But by the light of a dying sun, another presence within the pool seemed to awaken. Kate encountered it, not long after Jeffrey drowned.

Surrounded on all sides by pasture, where anthills tented the aggregate shells of a bygone seascape, Kate nested in the oasis in a snarl of smartweed at an hour when the lonely pond flattened black as a shark’s eye, and the stars burned coldly in the gulfs of space. This was Jeffery’s Place. In the weeks following his drowning, she came here with false hopes to commune with some lingering vestige of all she’d lost to this place. This was her vigil. Her penance. Her fault that her little brother drowned.

But she should not have come here, at this hour. Kate was just a child, naïve to the world’s evils, exposed in her openness to a sign, to some form of contact from the other side, and perhaps that is why Kate attracted the attention of a thing that she’d otherwise have not.

It rose in its funereal suit of oily mud, and glistened in the starlight. If this was her Jeffrey, then it was not but the husk of that sweet child, its eyes so dulled to a sinful complacence, its lips curled into a larval smile. Jeffrey was gone, but Kate could not turn away from the mirage of him. Because she understood in that moment that she was being visited by the very thing responsible. Children don’t drown where water should not exist, not in the wishing pools remembered in the hearts of deserts. No, it could not be. What happened to Jeffrey was no accident. His was a willful killing, and a cruel one. There stood a mimic in the moonlight, connected by deeper roots to something else, something down in a pond beneath a pond, a grotto, where it fanned its saffron gills and waited, just as it had haunted the seas of time’s beginning. It waited for a chance to lure young life to an early death, because that’s all that it did.

The nymph hooked its greasy finger, and it beckoned to her. It wanted to show her things, would only she hear its siren’s song and follow this bait into the pond, as three-year-old Jeffrey had done. If she would take its slick fingers into her own, then together, they would go down, down, into the world of drowned children, down to the places where the tadpoles lay torpid in the mud, and deeper still, to the pond beneath the pond, to the dark sanctuary where older things waited. There, in the pit of pits, lived her personal demon. It could not ease Kate’s burden, but it could certainly give her what she deserved.



Author MC Norris
M.C. Norris is an active member of the Horror Writers’ Association, with nineteen published short stories, and three published novels to his credit: Krengel & the Krampusz (Severed Press, TBR 2014), Deep Devotion (Severed Press, TBR 2014), and The Dread Owba Coo-Coo (Severed Press, TBR 2014). The nineteen published short stories of M.C. Norris appear in a variety of magazines and anthologies, including: Withersin, Wrong World DVD, Brainharvest Magazine, Pseudopod, Dead Bait, and Malicious Deviance. Mike also won 5th in Chizine/Leisure Books 13th Annual Short Story Contest.  

Keep in Touch: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Blog


Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Good morning, everyone! Let's see, it was last winter when Immortal Trust came out, and it's well past time for another installment. You've been waiting patiently--and not so patiently for some--but here it is!

The Curse of the Templars, Book IV

In the wake of an Italian mobster’s death, the archangels charge Immortal Templar Knight Caradoc of Asterleigh with protecting a necklace that contains Christ’s tears. He vows to bring the relic home, never imagining he’ll have to battle Isabelle Speranza, the only woman he’s ever loved and whom he left in a futile attempt to protect her heart.  Discovering she’s his fated seraph changes everything.  For the dark lord Azazel is hunting the Templar mates.

Isabelle lost her heart to Caradoc in a whirlwind affair abroad, only to be abandoned in the middle of the night.  When she encounters Caradoc in Sicily three years later, her buried anger fuels desire that won’t be denied.  Yet a dark shadow threatens their reunion.  Azazel has discovered her greatest weakness, and her dreams promise unspeakable horrors if she fails to procure the sacred necklace. 

As danger stalks her, Isabelle reveals an unbelievable secret.  To save them both, Caradoc must accept her truths, even if it means turning from everything he’s sworn to uphold.

Purchase Now!  Amazon | Print | Kobo | All Romance E-books
Barnes and Noble / Nook Coming Soon!


Bliss rocketed through her body, lighting her up from the inside out.  This was what she’d wanted, what she’d craved, for nearly three years.  Caradoc holding her, kissing her, telling her all the words he’d once whispered with just the touch of his tongue.

Apologies flowed between them, words she no longer cared about and yet somehow inherently understood.  Urgency replaced the gentleness of his mouth.  The slow, sensual stroke of his tongue became demanding.  Possessive.

Isabelle surrendered with a muffled cry, and they came together with startling ferocity.  He hauled her close, eroding every last bit of her rational thought with the press of his strong, hard body.  Heat filtered through their clothing, warming her skin and warding away the lingering chill in her veins.

Too long she’d known this only in memory.  Too long she’d relied on distant sensations to nurse her soul-deep yearning.  But now it was real.  Caradoc was here.  Kissing her as if nothing had changed between them and they were once more locked away in a cottage in England, lovers who couldn’t get enough of one another.

The slide of his hand along the length of her spine stirred her heartbeat into an erratic rhythm.  Each staccato pulse shot zings of ecstasy to every nerve ending she possessed until they all stood on end and her body trembled with sensory overload.  His powerful arms surrounded her.  His mouth dominated.  His broad chest offered shelter from every catastrophe she could imagine.

She couldn’t get enough.  Hungered for every bit of raw emotion that Caradoc had once exposed her to.  Craved the feel of his skin sliding against hers, the sensation of taking him into her body and knowing him only as a lover could.  She squirmed against the building ache within her womb and gave in to a soft moan.

The sound, however, jolted her back to reality, and the harsh realism sent her crashing through ecstasy to land in a bruised heap on the cold hard truth.  This wasn’t the man who made her believe in dreams and fairytales.  This was the man who’d sworn his love then left her to wake up confused and alone.

Isabelle shoved out of his embrace.  “I’m not doing this,” she rasped. Not in a hundred years.  Make that a hundred centuries.

She straightened her skirt then bent over to pick up her purse that had landed on the floor some time earlier.  Slinging it over her shoulder, she bolted for the door.

“Isabelle, wait!”  Caradoc caught up with her in four determined strides.  His fingers wrapped around her wrist.  “I did not mean for that to happen.”

“Of course not!”  She gave her arm a fierce jerk at the same time she opened the door.  “You didn’t mean it before, why should you now?”


Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Hi everyone!  It's Release Day!!

Please give a warm welcome to EXPLOSIVE, the third book in the Black Opal series, by my alter-ego, Tori St. Claire.  You can give it a try for only $2.99!

KINDLE version will be live today - Amazon has fixed my account.

For now:  Buy Paperback
Buy Digital:  Nook  |  Kobo  |  All Romance eBooks

  A man on the hunt...

Jayce Honeycutt never imagined returning to his hometown for a wedding would find him confronting the woman he intended to marry. Nor did he anticipate the passion they once knew would burn as hot and bright as ever. Only now Alyssa’s involved with Jayce’s former best friend, and Jayce can’t bring himself to interfere. When he learns Alyssa may be in danger, however, everything changes. As the threats against her life escalate, Jayce will stop at nothing to unveil the secrets she’s hiding. Even if it means risking his heart all over again.

A woman on the run…

Ten years ago, a brutal attack forced Alyssa Martin into a world of solitary darkness. She threw herself into her career, but now her work has led her back into the nightmare of her past and thrust her into a deadly game. When her roommate employs Jayce for her protection, memories compound. She’s never forgotten their shared desire, and her body still craves his masterful touch. Yet Jayce is determined to break down her protective walls, and confiding in him is more frightening than the shadows stalking her. But someone else is determined to control her. To survive, Alyssa must trust in Jayce and bare herself completely.


Of all the god-awful methods of torture Jayce Honeycutt could envision, weddings ranked at the top of his list. That was saying a lot, considering he’d spent the last ten years of his life disarming bombs for the CIA’s specialized, undocumented team of Black Opals. He’d done his fair share of making threats on US security go away as well, sometimes using those very same methods of torture on subjects that held critical information. But hands-down, a wedding beat every documented and undocumented coercion tactic he knew.

After the last fiasco, when Alexei Nikanova—one of the most esteemed Black Opals, no less—married a virtual terrorist, Jayce had his fill. No more weddings. No more people losing their goddamn minds and throwing away perfectly good careers in the name of the two-faced bitch called love.

That is, until his older sister Jasmine called a month ago. Now he was back in Boulder, Colorado, the last place on earth he wanted to be, not only attending, but participating, in a damn wedding.

He slammed his pickup into third and skidded around the corner. He’d endured the family dinner with the in-laws he’d never see again. Suffered enough polite handshakes, false hugs, and sugary sweet smiles to last a lifetime. Now he couldn’t get to the bar fast enough. One beer to take the edge off. Another to clear his head—around five he might just forget how Boulder had changed his life and how he’d once been dumb enough to buy into the fantasy of weddings and lifelong nuptials. True, he’d never made it to the altar. No, Alyssa hadn’t let it get that far before she vanished, she and their unborn child.

Grinding his teeth against the unwanted rise of memories, Jayce eased up on the accelerator. Just as revisiting the past would bring up trouble, so would getting a ticket. Kevin Clark, director of the Black Opals, would make him eat this one. The three in London had pushed his boss a bit too far. Not to mention Jayce’s attitude about Alexei’s wife. Clark had all but forced Jayce to accept Jasmine’s request to escort her down the aisle. Not that he would have refused. This gave him the opportunity to be near his younger sister, Jordan, at a time she needed company the most.

A bright orange neon sign announced that Jayce had reached his destination and welcomed visitors to the Rocky Mountain Taproom. He nosed into a parking space, killed the engine, and jumped out of the car. Pocketing his keys, he entered a world of sultry blues and even more sultry lights. For the most part, the bar was dead, as he’d expected on a Wednesday night. A few men gathered around the pool table. Near the bar, three ladies laughed over the sound of a crooning sax. They looked his way as he grabbed a barstool. One shyly lifted a manicured hand to wave.

Jayce nodded at the brunette. Cute, but he wasn’t looking for a piece of tail. Not tonight. In another hour he was supposed to meet Jordan. She’d said she wanted to talk. About what made Jayce’s stomach twist into knots. He didn’t want to confront those memories either. All they did was remind him how he’d failed the one person he was closest to. How he’d been so caught up in his own disaster he couldn’t bring himself to help his sister fight the bastard who raped her and subsequently convinced the entire town she’d brought it on herself.
Still, he owed it to Jordan to be there for her. With Jasmine’s wedding approaching, the date of the disaster so near, he couldn’t tolerate the idea of leaving Jordan alone right now.

“What’ll it be, handsome?” The bartender propped her elbows on a polished brass rail, bending forward until Jayce couldn’t help but notice her nipples were about to escape the low-cut tank top.

“Coors Light, bottle.”

Her mouth curved up in an approving grin, and she tapped stubby nails on the polished wood. “Hometown boy at heart.”

Jayce chuckled. “Yeah, something like that.”

As she fished a frosty bottle from the cooler, she cocked her head to study him. “Hey, don’t I know you? Class of 2000. Jayce…Harcourt?”

“Honeycutt.” For the life of him, he couldn’t begin to produce her name. He supposed that shouldn’t surprise him; he’d blocked most of that year out.

She set his bottle down and extended her hand. “Marcie Lauflin. We had Accounting I together.”

Accounting. Jayce bit back a grimace. No wonder he didn’t recognize a thing about Marcie. Alyssa had been in Accounting I. He couldn’t recall a single lesson—he’d singularly attended class so they could spend time together. It was the only way they could be together without worry of getting caught.

He slid his hand into Marcie’s and gave it a shake. “It’s a pleasure. I see Boulder hasn’t changed much.”

“Nah, it never does.” She grinned. “You know how it is. What brings you back to town?”

“Wedding. My sister’s.”

Marcie wrinkled her nose, echoing Jayce’s very poignant sentiment. “Ew.”

“Yeah tell me about it. Not exactly my cup of tea. But…family…” Lifting his beer, he offered Marcie a mock toast, then downed a hearty mouthful. The cold coated his throat and soothed the tightness in his gut.

“You ran with Brice McTavish, didn’t you?”

Wow. Talk about a name from the past. Though Jayce had cut Brice off along with everyone else in Boulder, they’d been tight as teens. Both of them just barely getting by, one foot in the grave, the other barreling on ahead, hoping they’d manage to graduate by the skin of their teeth. Neither wanted to be held back again. “Is McTavish still around?” It might be nice to revisit that particular person from his past. Have a few laughs while he was in town, a few beers, a few minutes of disbelief that they were still alive.

“He’s still here. He’s some big name attorney now. Criminal law. Folks tend to look the other way when he’s around, ‘bout like they did back then.” She laughed again and swept a white cloth over the immaculate bar. “He’s a regular here on Wednesdays. I’m surprised he’s not in yet.”

“Really?” The night was looking up. Beating McTavish at a game of pool would improve Jayce’s mood ten-fold.

“Yep. He must be hung up at the office.” With a frown on her overly-painted face, Marcie rose on her toes and looked over Jayce’s head at the front door. “Wait. He’s coming inside now. Hey, Brice!”

Jayce cringed as her brittle voice thundered over the music. Damn, no wonder she was tending bar. She could break up a fight with just a yell. No one would want to stick around long enough to hear it twice.

“Evening, Marcie,” Brice called in amicable return. “Got a Jim and Seven for me?”

“Got something better. Look who’s in town.” Marcie thrust a plump arm under Jayce’s nose. “Jayce Honeycutt.”

“Jayce?” Brice’s grin doubled in size as he slid onto the stool beside Jayce’s and thrust out his hand. “I’ll be damned. Never thought I’d see you around here again.” As Jayce fitted his hand in Brice’s and gave it a firm squeeze, his childhood best friend enveloped him in a brotherly hug. “It’s good to see you, man.”

“Good to see you too, McTavish.” That was the one, the only, truthful thing he’d said all night. He took Brice in quickly, observing he’d evidently bettered his life. Crisp lines defined a custom-tailored, dark grey, Italian suit. Beneath the stylish coat, white silk opened at the collar. His brown hair was cut short, no longer clinging to his shoulders or falling in his eyes. And he’d shaved. Something McTavish avoided in high school like most men avoided low-rate whores.

“So where you been?” McTavish asked as Marcie passed him his drink.

Jayce took another pull from his beer before issuing his concocted excuse. “I’ve been working security.”

“Security?” McTavish gestured at Jayce’s own imported black suit. “Didn’t know installations could dress a man like that.”

Chuckling, Jayce shook his head. “Not installations. Consultations. Custom designs for the wealthy.”

McTavish let out a long low whistle. “Nice.”

“Marcie says you’re an attorney now?”

“Yeah, gotta pay the bills somehow. After the first year of partying at CSU, I realized rent didn’t come free. Got my act together. Managed to graduate. Opened my own practice about four years ago.”

“Like it?”

“Love it.”

McTavish darted a jerky glance at his watch, then smoothed his free hand down his pants leg. Too many years of being trained to notice insignificant actions alerted Jayce to the absent gestures. Nervous. Hiding something. But what? And why?

Jayce didn’t have long to wait to discover the answer. As he swigged another drink, the men surrounding the pool table all did an about-face toward the door. He turned, curious what, or rather who, captured their immediate attention. At the sight of silken hair the color of rich chocolate, a waist so tiny it would make Scarlet O’Hara cry, and a smile that could silence an angel chorus, Jayce’s heart slammed to a halt.

Alyssa Martin. Holy fuck, he hadn’t prepared for her on any level. Let alone the way she sidled up to McTavish and planted an affectionate kiss on his mouth.

“Hey, babe. Who’s your—” Turning toward Jayce, her words abruptly stopped. Recognition flashed behind even richer brown eyes. In a heartbeat’s passing, her delicate face washed white. “Jayce,” she exhaled.

He couldn’t speak. For the first time in his life, he couldn’t produce a single word. Dozens rallied in his head. Questions she’d never answered—where had she gone, where did he screw up? What happened to our baby? Nothing worked its way past his dry-as-sand throat.

She blew out a breath that fanned the loose tendrils around her face and restored a bit of color to her fair cheeks. “You look…good.”

So did she. Fucking hot as hell. Slimming pencil skirt in khaki, a flirty summer blouse that accented her toned arms—she was every bit as beautiful as she’d been when he’d fallen head over heels for her. More so now that she’d filled out. Her breasts were full and pert, her hips narrow and defined. Her waist still so small he could fit his hands around it and touch his fingertips if he squeezed just a little. And her hair… God, her hair. She hadn’t cut it. Ten years, and it was still as long and glorious as he remembered. He’d bet his soul it would still slide like satin between his fingertips.

Old longing pitched his stomach in a violent circle, and Jayce struggled to put words in order. He had to say something. Something other than a demand for answers. He forced a smile he hoped was casual. “Hey, you.”

His stomach lurched again as Alyssa perched herself on Brice’s knee. Though he hadn’t seen her in a decade, though he had every right to want to strangle Alyssa Martin, the sight of her with Brice was like someone rammed a boot in Jayce’s gut. A steel-toed one that cracked a rib. Christ, the burn was agonizing.

His Alyssa, the woman he’d done everything he could to provide a life for, was with his best friend. Former best friend. Perched on his lap in a way that couldn’t be mistaken as anything but intimate.

The irrational need to put a bullet in McTavish’s forehead possessed Jayce. He turned away and stared at his beer, the malt flavor now as bitter as rotten hops. As a covert operative, he should have anticipated Alyssa might be in Boulder. But last he’d heard, she’d left the city. Her parents gloated when they informed him she’d gone to her aunt’s in New Mexico. It was the only bit of information they’d ever volunteered.

If they’d liked him better, if his family came from the same wealth as hers…

He clenched a hand around the cold glass and choked the timeless questions down.


Alyssa’s voice reached him distantly, pulling him out of thoughts he had no business entertaining. The faint touch of her hand on his shoulder seared like coals. He forced himself not to flinch.

“Should I…go, Jayce?”

Buy Paperback
Buy Digital:  Nook  |  Kobo  |  All Romance eBooks


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hey all!

For those of you who haven't heard, EXPLOSIVE, the 3rd Black Opal book, releases tomorrow!!

There's a few important things you should know:

a.  Amazon KDP has broken my account.  They are trying to fix it, but...it simply won't be available on Kindle until they do.  With the sheer number of folks who've signed aboard to help get the word out, I was in a position to have to keep moving forward with the release, and while I'm not responsible for their glitch, I do apologize to Kindle users.

b.  It will be available, however, on Barnes and Noble for Nook, Kobo, and All Romance eBooks, as well as CreateSpace for the print copy.

c.  It will release at $2.99 and stay on sale through October 1.

d.  I have a giveaway going on through Goodreads -- enter to win a signed print copy!!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Explosive by Tori St. Claire


by Tori St. Claire

Giveaway ends September 20, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win


Labels: , , , , , , ,

Yay!  It's finally here -- the smokin' hot cover for Explosive.

Explosive continues the Black Opals saga with Jayce, who you met in Lie to Me as Sandman.  (For those of you who might be leaping into the darkly seductive world of undercover operatives, don't worry, all Black Opals books stand alone.)

So, I'm going to show the cover here, but to be entered for the giveaway or read the exclusive two-part excerpt, you're going to have to hop over to Scorching Book Reviews and Love to Read for Fun.  They've split the excerpt in two parts.  Be sure to stop at each to get a glimpse of Jayce and Alyssa.


Black Opals, Book III
Tori St.Claire

A man on the hunt...

Jayce Honeycutt never imagined returning to his hometown for a wedding would find him confronting the woman he intended to marry.  Nor did he anticipate the passion they once knew would burn as hot and bright as ever.  Only now Alyssa’s involved with Jayce’s former best friend, and Jayce can’t bring himself to interfere.  When he learns Alyssa may be in danger, however, everything changes.  As the threats against her life escalate, Jayce will stop at nothing to unveil the secrets she’s hiding.  Even if it means risking his heart all over again.

A woman on the run…

Ten years ago, a brutal attack forced Alyssa Martin into a world of solitary darkness.  She threw herself into her career, but now her work has led her back into the nightmare of her past and thrust her into a deadly game. When her roommate employs Jayce for her protection, memories compound.  She’s never forgotten their shared desire, and her body still craves his masterful touch.  Yet Jayce is determined to break down her protective walls, and confiding in him is more frightening than the shadows stalking her.  But someone else is determined to control her.  To survive, Alyssa must trust in Jayce and bare herself completely.

Start reading the excerpt at Scorching Reviews

Read part two at Love to Read for Fun

And spread the word that Explosive is coming September 17th and will be available for 2.99!


Labels: , , , , , , ,

Good morning, readers!  Today I'm bringing Karen Greco in with her debut Urban Fantasy, Hell's Belle.  Lets take a look at this book that sounds really fascinating to me!

Hell's Belle
Hell's Belle Series Book, One
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Date of Publication: June 17, 2013
ISBN: 1484830202
Cover Artist: Jeff Brennan

Half vampire, half human, Nina Martinez spent most of her life underground as part of an elite secret team of government agents that quietly take down rogue monsters, the human world none the wiser. She moves back to her hometown of to keep an eye on the recent uptick in supernatural activity, and to help run the bar she co-owns with her aunt. Her attempt at a “regular” life, not to mention a budding relationship with smoking hot FBI agent Max, is cut short because of a string of ritual murders targeting the city's community of witches. 

But Nina's investigation unearths deadly secrets from her long buried parents. Now the target of supernatural assassins, could Nina be the most dangerous vampire hybrid to ever exist? No wonder she can’t get a date. 

An urban fantasy set in a decaying Providence, Rhode Island, HELL'S BELLE is a fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled roller-coaster ride through a city on the cusp of becoming an urban wasteland. HELL'S BELLE is an energetic, expansive, and cinematic beginning of a new series in the urban fantasy genre.


Karen is going to share some fun info today with a top 10 list of what inspired her love of the supernatural.  So take it away, Karen!

I have always loved movies, and the scarier the better. But I prefer suspense and chills to simple gore-fests. These ten movies had a profound impact on me at a very young age, and I consider them key influences to my work as a writer now.

I think this was Anthony Hopkins' first American movie. I watched it when I was about 9 or 10, in an old roadside motel in upstate New York, near Niagara Falls. It was on television. I was so frightened; I covered my face but watched through my fingers. A demented, psychopathic dummy that murdered people--how could I NOT watch?

The first movie I ever saw was Dracula (the one from 79, with Frank Langella as the Count). It was on at the video store when my dad was buying our first VHS player -- one of those early 80s monstrosities! Anyway, the store had it on, and I watched while my dad picked out the machine. Since it was a long, long process, and I pretty much watched the whole thing. I was riveted. Of course, now I know that it was an absolutely brilliant cast, with Trevor Eve as Jonathan Harker, and Laurence Olivier as Van Helsing. No wonder I loved it.

(Quick note. Clearly my parents didn't really monitor what I watched--I also saw Lipstick when I was around that age. And the 2nd movie I ever saw was Ordinary People, which frightened me far more than Magic or Dracula! Third movie was a Cheech and Chong. Clearly they had very relaxed viewing standards, but I think I turned out okay regardless.)

A young girl. A demon possession. A priest who lost his Faith. I was a little older when I saw The Exorcist, and was struggling to get through CCD (Sunday school for Catholics) without experiencing the wrath God (really, the wrath of my Hell-hath- plenty-of-fury Priests). So I related to this film in about a million different ways!  And let's just leave that to the armchair psychotherapists.

Roman Polanski's classic. That cast was extraordinary—Mia Farrow, John Cassavettes. And no one does weird old lady better than Ruth Gordon.

Really, every Hitchcock movie should be on this list, but Psycho is iconic. Norman Bates set the bar high for sociopathic killers on film. And that shower scene proved that sometimes seeing less is often more frightening than seeing everything.

This movie, like Psycho, proves that you don't have to be supernatural to be a monster!  It also taught me about how even awful, unredeemable characters have their own reasons, however false, for being so evil. Finding the humanity in such awful characters is what gives them real dimension. Plus, Betty Davis and Joan Crawford!

Oh Damien. Another film that I related to in so many ways! It kicked off my life-long fascination with Great Britain--I loved the locations in this film. And the rabid Rottweilers partially inspired my character Dog. I was also fascinated by the idea that pure evil (in this case, demon spawn) could one day be a political figure, and not necessarily by satanic misdeeds but chosen by the people to lead. The idea that you do not know that this person you admire and respect it really the root of all evil. That's more frightening than Freddie Krueger, I think.

My list would not be complete without at least one Vincent Price movie, and Theatre of Blood hits all the right buttons. It's simply over-the-top, and Price is chewing the scenery. Great fun.

I was probably about 13 when I saw Halloween for the first time. This film kicked off my adoration for John Carpenter. For a long time, I religiously watched all Michael Myers movies, up until the one with LL Cool J. While most of my friends were Team Jason, I was totally Team Michael. Loved the Halloween franchise way more than Friday the 13th. Jamie Lee Curtis suffered no fools.

THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (radio broadcast)
Okay, not a movie and more sci-fi than horror, but my 5th grade teacher played Orson Welles' infamous radio broadcast during class and it influenced me profoundly. I was fascinated by the fact that a fictional program could be so real that it actually sent people into a panic. I am not a huge fan of stories about aliens and alien invasions (I even loathe the movie Alien), but this adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel is a classic spine tingler.

I think I can relate to the love of many of this.  The Omen is one of my favorites!  What are your thoughts, readers?

Before we part ways with Karen, she is also sponsoring a giveaway today.  It spans the tour, but you'll need to enter to have a chance to win one of 10 copies of Hell's Belle.  The winner will be able to choose which digital format: mobi or epub.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More About the Author:

An award-winning playwright, Karen Greco has spent close to twenty years in New York City, working in publicity and marketing for the entertainment industry. A life-long obsession with exorcists and Dracula drew her to urban fantasy, where she can decapitate characters with impunity. HELL'S BELLE is her first novel.

Goodreads  |  Twitter  |  Blog   |  Facebook

A Bewitching Books Guest


Labels: , , , ,

"Victorians used the term 'limbs' as a euphenism for legs, which were thought to be so sexually exciting to a man, even a glimpse of a table leg could incite him to sexual frenzy. Table skirts were invented to prevent any unnatural unions between men and furniture."
(History Channel International)



GoddessFish Promotions

Goddess Fish Partner

Night Owl Romance

Night Owl Romance
For The Latest In Romance Reviews

Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Coffee Time Romance

Coffee Time Romance
Blogging About Romance